Thu, 21 Jan 2021

Storm Filomena leaves five dead in Spain

13 Jan 2021, 04:44 GMT+10

MADRID, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Spanish government on Tuesday confirmed the deaths of five people related to Storm Filomena, which has brought record snowfall to central and eastern Spain and floods to parts of the south of the country.

Speaking after the weekly cabinet meeting, Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said that two people were killed by the storm in the southern region of Andalusia, one in Madrid and two in Catalonia.

The two victims in Andalusia lost their lives while attempting to drive their vehicle across a river swollen by floodwaters, while a man in his 50s in Madrid suffered a heart attack after his car had been trapped by snow.

A cleanup operation is ongoing, with many of Madrid's streets still covered by a thick layer of snow and ice after two nights with temperatures falling to minus eight degrees Celsius in the capital, minus 25 degrees Celsius in the province of Guadalajara and minus 21 degrees Celsius in Teruel in northeast Spain.

On Tuesday afternoon, Spain's Directorate-General for Traffic (DGT) said that 545 roads were still affected by snow.

Grande-Marlaska told reporters that the government had deployed all the resources it had available and he thanked the members of Spain's Military Emergencies Unit (UME) for their efforts in clearing roads and keeping access to hospitals safe.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez also expressed his "gratitude and pride" at the work of the UME in recent days. Grande-Marlaska said that around 600 vehicles that had been abandoned by their drivers during the storm had to be "taken to municipal warehouses."

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